I was the lucky winner of the Royal Rider Stirrups during the “12 days of Christmas” with Horse Junkies and Dressage Hub. The moment I saw the stirrups I was intrigued, and after checking out the Royal Rider website I really wanted them. So I was super excited when I found out that I had won. Thank you Dressage Hub, Horse Junkies and Royal Rider for the great contest!
My old stirrups are over three years old, and were just as good now as when they were new. They are the Korsteel Flex II, and they flex to 70 degrees which has been great for my right knee. I have no real complaints about them, but I was excited to try the new technology.
The box arrived in the mail, and I was shocked, and wondered if they had put an empty box in there. It weighed near nothing, and as I took them out the lack of weight was frankly shocking. I actually thought they would be terrible, and was a bit discouraged. I had read about the “lightweight ultra shock absorbing stirrup which provides cushioning relief from rider joint stress,” (Royal Rider Evo Action) but now my excitement waned. They were so light weight that I just couldn’t imagine them being any good at all.
So I took them to the barn, tacked up and swapped out the stirrups. They are very different with the way the leather goes down through, under a flexible pin, and then back up that I wasn’t sure how to hang them up during longing. I did what I normally, and after just a few steps they fell down. Pippi is not a fan, as I imagine few horses are, of stirrups slapping at her flanks as she is longed, but I noticed something odd. They just sort hung there, not flapping at all, and not swinging around with her movement. I wasn’t sure whether this was a good sign or not.
After longing I mounted up, and searched around with my right foot for the stirrup and had a harder time than usual finding it. Again I wondered about these newfangled things….
But then we were off, and even during the walk I knew; these things are named wrong! They should be called the “Royal Rider Game changer stirrups!” With huge letters and exclamation points.
The stirrups lack of weight made the lower leg a lot more stable, and kept the stirrup from swinging the leg in a pendulum motion. I had not noticed the added weight to my lower leg before, nor had it bothered me, but I love how riding in the “Royal Rider Evo Action” stirrups feel.
I couldn’t wait to see what Sheri, the BO, would say. I refused to let her check out the new stirrups, and instead just asked her to ride Pippi. She mounted and her reaction was much like mine; she loved it. We discussed how they felt, and agree that they feel like hover board stirrups. They follow your leg, instead of adding weight to you lower leg, so your leg is overall more quiet. It’s almost as though the stirrups are built into your horse, in that the motion of your leg follows the horse seamlessly.
If you have a Christmas wish list add the Royal Rider stirrups to the top as this is the one gift that will thrill you and truly be a game changer. I cannot recommend them enough! I took my perfectly fine old stirrups home, and I will be a lightweight rider from now on.